Imelda Marcos’ Wardrobe Not Historic Treasure, Philippine Government Says

The vast and famous wardrobe of former first lady Imelda Marcos has been declared historically insignificant, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The wife of Philippine president/dictator Ferdinand Marcos was noted for her elaborate gowns and shoes, none of which she appeared to ever wear twice. When they fled the country after a popular uprising in 1986, news cameras descended on their palace, to find hundreds of pairs of shoes and whole rooms stocked with dresses and accessories.

Her lavish collection became a symbol of corruption and callousness in a country faced with serious poverty.

Many of the clothes ended up in the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila, where they languished in a storeroom. The collection included hundreds of gowns and at least 1,220 pairs of shoes.

Now the government has issued a statements saying that the collection has been damaged by termites and soaked by water that came through a leaky roof during a monsoon last month. There are no plans to save the clothes, however, as the vast majority have “no historical significance.”

The only exceptions are a few gowns made by famous Philippine designers. Some 800 pairs of Marcos’ shoes are still preserved in the Shoe Museum in Marikina, a traditional center of shoe making in the country.

Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989. Imelda Marcos returned to the Philippines and managed to get out of most of the criminal charges leveled against her. She has unsuccessfully run for various political offices.

[Photo courtesy U.S. Government]